The Finest Hours Craig Gillespie
Published Jan 28, 2016The Finest Hours, director Craig Gillespie's (Lars and the Real Girl) take on the daring true story of a small American Coast Guard team who set out to sea during a winter storm in 1952 to save a group of stranded seamen on a sinking oil tanker, may be the most out-of-character live-action film Disney has ever created.
The film stars silver screen heartthrob Chris Pine as Bernie Webber, a quiet-yet-cocksure sailor living in Cape Cod who accomplished the unthinkable when he saved the lives of 32 seamen with little more than a lifeboat the size of an average mobile home. The story became the stuff of nautical legend in North America, and spawned a bestselling book in 2009 (on which this film is based).
At first glance, it has all the trappings of the life-affirming, patriotic hero stories we've come to expect from major movie studios like Disney, but The Finest Hours, for the most part, is relentlessly bleak, thanks in part to its powerful and frigid stormy scenes, shown in 3D, that, although unremarkable when compared to other disaster flicks, certainly gets the job done here by consistently obscuring the action — and offers little solace for the viewer, save for in the film's final few moments.
Gillespie and his team of screenwriters (Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson) have created the perfect vessel to stir conversation about the role (or, more precisely, the lack thereof) of spiritual salvation in catastrophic situations. It's just probably not the best choice of movie to see if you're suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder this time of year.